Pets who will eat anything

by Andrew Robinson MRCVS

You’ve eaten what?! Pets in trouble - again - photo by Angela N

You’ve eaten what?! Pets in trouble – again – photo by Angela N

IT will come as no surprise to you that we see a lot of holiday makers and their pets in the surgery.

This is often at weekends and can be very distressing for them as they are a long way from home in a strange area although it never seems to take the animals long to realise that they are in a vets surgery!

This was the case recently with a young spaniel called Hugo who came in whilst on holiday with his owners.

Up until the previous day he had a been a typical spaniel living life at 100 miles an hour running around in the woods and on the beach.

However, on the Saturday morning he was very subdued and wouldn’t eat his breakfast.

Everything appeared normal on my initial examination until I felt his tummy and it seemed to have an odd doughy feel. “Oh no” said his owner – “he’s eaten something he shouldn’t have”.

Well she was correct. The next day we reunited the owner with their rather guilty looking puppy and their missing -sock! (We were also able to offer some worming advice and show them the large roundworm that we took out of the puppy’s stomach wrapped around the sock.)

It never ceases to amaze me what we have to take out of animals’ stomachs and with Christmas fast approaching the opportunities for them to eat the wrong thing is endless. From tinsel, baubles and poisonous Christmas plants such as holly berries, mistletoe and poinsettias to the many foodstuffs that are enjoyed during the festive period such as raisins in the Christmas cake, grapes on the cheese board, bones from the turkey and onions in the stuffing as well as good old chocolate in the selection boxes.

If you are in doubt speak to your vet as soon as possible as we can give the animal an injection to make them sick and prevent the toxic chemicals being absorbed into their bodies.

They don’t just eat things either. Pine needles can get stuck in their feet or eyes and then they will always try and find a chance to pull down the Christmas tree on your head!

So in the season of good will to all pets, take a second to have a look around your house for what is the most obscure thing that your pet could eat or do because it is likely that this will happen.

Then take a minute to try and remove any of these items to a safe place out of your pet’s reach although it’s always wise to keep the vet’s number nearby – just in case.

Just like that little puppy, you can never watch them every second of the day and that is all it takes to eat something that they shouldn’t.

Wishing you and your pets a very Happy Christmas and a Healthy 2017.